KENOSHA, Wis. - Speaking out publicly for the first time, Kyle Rittenhouse -- the 17-year-old charged in the fatal shooting of two men during a Kenosha protest -- said that he was protecting himself and does not regret it.
In an interview with the Washington Post, the Antioch, Illinois teen said he considers himself "patriotic."
The incident transpired on Aug. 25 during unrest that followed protests of the police shooting of Jacob Blake days earlier. In the interview, Rittenhouse described why he brought a gun to the streets of Kenosha that night in the first place.
"I was going into a place where people had guns, and God forbid somebody brought a gun to me and tried to shoot me," Rittenhouse said. "So, I like wanted to be protected and I ended up having to protect myself."
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with homicide in fatal shooting of two Kenosha protesters
Rittenhouse went on to explain how he expected the night to go: "just like watching over the business and providing first aid for like minor injuries to people."
His mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, told FOX6 News that no one should have been on the street that night.
"Going down there wasn't a protest. It was a mob. If people was rioting, looting, destroying Kenosha, burning it down, that wasn't a peaceful protest," she said.
While Rittenhouse is charged with fatally shooting two men and injuring a third, he told the Washington Post that he was protecting himself.
"No I don’t regret it. I feel I had to protect myself. I feel like I would have died if I didn’t," said Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse's bail was set for $2 million earlier this month. He is due back in court on Dec. 3 for a preliminary hearing.